Free
Apps

Apple Messages

In a move that’s been anticipated for years, Apple has finally merged Messages—the increasingly popular iOS SMS/MMS/iMessaging application—with its Mac app iChat, resulting in a brand new release: Messages for Mac (Free). Carrying a version number of 6.1, the Mac version of Messages includes iChat’s past functionality, including everything from AIM, Yahoo, Google Talk, and Jabber text chats to file transfers, audio chats, and multi-person video chats, while adding support for iMessages and two-person FaceTime calls. Everything’s tied together in a mashed-up interface that’s half iOS and half Mac, starting today in a seemingly feature-complete beta form.

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$10
Apps

Spaces of Play Spirits

Just released on the Mac App Store, Spaces of Play’s Spirits ($10) is a port of the developer’s well-received iOS title, which earned our general recommendation last year. This game combines many of our favorite elements: beautiful graphics, a great soundtrack, and gameplay inspired by the classic puzzler Lemmings. Expect to spend a few dozen hours with this one.

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$100
Q1 2012
Peripherals

Moshi Luna

Apple pitches smaller as better, and with only a few notable exceptions, we’re usually inclined to agree. But sometimes the ergonomic needs of an input device can justify a larger footprint, and that’s why we’re interested in Moshi’s new Luna ($100), a keyboard the company unveiled at the 2012 International CES. Yes, it’s bigger than Apple’s Wireless Keyboard—wider, taller, and deeper than even the Apple Keyboard with the numeric keypad—but some users will find that its good looks make up for the added size. Updated February 14, 2012 with hands-on details!

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$299
Speakers

JBL Studio 130

If you loved JBL’s recent “weave” design theme but need more power than its inexpensive Jembe speakers, good news: Studio 130 ($299) is here. Incorporating the company’s signature weaved lines into a more traditional boxy wood chassis, each Studio 130 packs a 1” dome tweeter and 4” cone woofer—a driver combination with the crisp treble and deep, powerful bass JBL is known to deliver. Sold as a set of two speakers, this package offers great value for the dollar, though there’s also a catch.

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$80-$150
Cases

Incase Incase for Shepard Fairey Canvas Sleeves + Campus Pack

Thanks to his viral Obey The Giant campaign and famous Obama Hope posters, Shepard Fairey is as close to a household name as urban artists come nowadays, and a favorite of iLounge’s editors, too. Building on its past artist collaborations, including the Andy Warhol collection, Incase has brought Fairey together with Apple cases in its new Incase for Shepard Fairey collection, and we’re legitimately excited. Printed on the company’s standard Canvas Sleeve ($80) and Campus Pack ($150), these officially licensed pieces are a great way to carry a Mac around in some of Fairey’s recent work.

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$2,165-$5,080
Furniture

Biomorph Pro Desk

Anybody who spends a lot of time sitting at a desk—at home, at work, or wherever it may be—knows the value of a good work surface. Sure, it’s easy to slap a couple of legs to a piece of wood, but that doesn’t make it the right tool for the job. Biomorph’s Pro Desk ($2,165-$5,080), is far more than just legs and wood. With a smart design, lots of room to work with, and adjustable height, it’s a very practical solution that looks pretty nice too.

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$39
Apps

Mixed In Key Mashup

Watch out Girl Talk: aspiring artists just got a new tool to combine pieces of their favorite songs to become brand new ones, making it easier than ever to create awesome mashups. The title, appropriately enough, is Mashup ($39) from Mixed In Key. It’s designed to be incredibly simple to use, and the developer promises users can complete mashups in five minutes or less—assuming you have good source material.

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$179
Cases

Mission Workshop The Sanction Rucksack

Founded by the same team behind Chrome Bags—we covered one of its camera bags not too long ago—Mission Workshop has entered the market with some seriously heavy duty bags and backpacks. The whole lineup is impressive, but we were immediately struck by The Sanction Rucksack ($179), which would be considered a big bag by most standards. With a capacity of 1,000 cubic inches, it’s actually the company’s smallest backpack—but there’s plenty of room for your Mac, and all the other stuff that you’ll want to carry along with it. Updated October 12, 2011 with hands-on pictures, then on February 8, 2012 with long-term testing results!

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$3,000-$3,300
March-April 2012
Camera

Nikon D800 + D800E

Professional photographers, the wait is over. Nikon has finally announced two new DSLR cameras—the D800 and D800E ($3,000-$3,300)—and boy, do they have some killer specs. The first thing that jumps out is the whopping 36.3-Megapixel Nikon FX-format full-frame CMOS sensor, but also in the mix are an improved 51-point AF system, 3.2-inch LCD monitor, and 1080p video recording, with plenty of manual controls for videographers. Then there’s that special E model, which seems hell-bent on erasing the need for traditional medium-format cameras altogether.

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$350
May 2012
Camera

Canon PowerShot D20

Sure, the name “D20” evokes the famous multi-sided dice loved by Dungeons & Dragons players, but Canon’s just-announced PowerShot D20 ($350) is intended for a more mainstream hobby: it’s the follow-up to the D10, a ruggedized “use it virtually anywhere” camera. With this new version, Canon has slightly tweaked the specs while completely redesigning the body and adding some really useful new features.

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£629/~$995
Speakers

NacSound Geminos Speaker System

Although North Americans usually enjoy early availability for Western-developed products, Europeans get exclusives on cool stuff, too. One example: NacSound’s Geminos Speaker System (£629/~$995), a pair of globe-shaped Italian-designed speakers that are only available from European Apple Stores for the time being; if you can get your hands on them, you’ll find them to be drool-worthy complements to your Mac.

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$20
Apps

RedVok Software WeddingLan

You’re in love. Bought the ring. Popped the question. The fun’s just beginning; now you actually have to plan the wedding. Luckily, like most things in life, your Mac can help. RedVok Software’s WeddingLan ($20) takes all of the hard work that goes into planning a wedding and makes it at least a bit easier.

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$40
Apps

id Software Rage: Campaign Edition

If there’s one thing that’s been missing from the Mac App Store, it’s a game that lets you fight against hoards of mutants in a post-apocolypic, not-too-distant future. Thankfully Aspyr Media has righted this wrong today by bringing id Software’s Rage: Campaign Edition ($40) to our favorite platform. Coming only four months after the release of the console versions—that’s not to shabby when it comes to Mac gaming—this title brings the full single-player campaign from the popular FPS with bonus equipment from the Anarchy Edition.

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Apple OS X 10.7.3 Update

If you happen to speak Catalan, Croatian, Greek, Hebrew, Romanian, Slovak, Thai, or Ukrainian—or if you simply like keeping your software up-to-date—then it’s time to fire up Software Update and install Mac OS X 10.7.3 (Free).

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Seagate GoFlex Thunderbolt Adapter

We’ve been waiting for Seagate to release the GoFlex Thunderbolt Adapter ($100) for quite a while now: it was shown in June at the CEA LineShows in New York City, but the company said it would take time for the accessory to become available. Seven months later, it’s finally on Seagate’s website, so it’s time to get your Thunderboltin’ on.

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